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The Sound of Silence

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Silence from Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart on Scott’s Anti-Dreamers Veto

Tallahassee, FL – Immigration reform will be a central topic of Congress this summer, but as Republicans across the state face tough questions about Governor Rick Scott’s veto of a bipartisan bill which would have allowed Dreamers with no criminal history to obtain a simple driver’s license, it’s been “the Sound of Silence” from South Florida Hispanic Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. 

“It’s been silence from Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart since Governor Scott vetoed this important bill which would allow thousands of immigrants without a criminal history to receive a simple driver's license,” said Florida Democratic Party spokesman Joshua Karp. “Immigration reform will an important topic in Congress over the coming weeks, and the residents of South Florida deserve to know whether Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Diaz-Balart are standing with the Hispanic community or with Governor Rick Scott.”

HB 235 was one of the most important pro-immigrant pieces of legislation this Session, and passed the Republican-dominated legislature with near-unanimous approval. Democrats and Republicans understood that allowing legal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses would expand opportunity to thousands of young Hispanics and other immigrants. Governor Scott's decision on HB 235 was viewed as a key test of his commitment to the Hispanic community.

The bill, which won overwhelming majorities in both houses of the legislature, would have allowed thousands of immigrants who have federal deferred action status and no criminal history to obtain a driver's license.

What do Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart have to say about Rick Scott's veto of this key priority for the Hispanic community?